Fun With Notan

Union High School’s Grade 8 and 9 Creative Arts learners recently explored different arrangements of light and dark elements in ‘Notan’ art – a Japanese art concept often described as the play between light and dark.
This assignment taught them how to work with light and dark contrast, symmetry and composition and they produced some excellent work.

Spotlight Shines On Cape Ash

To increase awareness of South Africaโ€™s beautiful indigenous tree species, two trees are highlighted each year as Tree of the Year – one common and one rare species.
The Common Tree of 2020 is the stunning ๐—–๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ ๐—”๐˜€๐—ต or ๐˜Œ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ด and the Rare Tree of 2020 is the incredibly sculptural ๐—•๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ or ๐˜ˆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ข ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ข.
Union High School has a beautiful Cape Ash growing in front of the schoolโ€™s main building off Donkin Street.
The tree has a tag identifying it as such, which was affixed to it as part of an Eco-Schoolsโ€™ project during Union High Schoolโ€™s centenary celebrations, where all the indigenous trees on the schoolโ€™s campus were labelled with tree tags.
The tag contains interesting information about the tree, including the national tree number, the botanical name as well as the English, Afrikaans and either isiXhosa or isiZulu name.
The Cape Ash is a magnificent tree, well-worth planting. An evergreen fruit-bearing tree, the Cape Ash can grow up to 15m high. Its trunk and stems are greyish black, with large, glossy green leaves often with pink edges. On occasion, the tree shows its beautiful white, scented flowers in summer along with seeded red fruit enjoyed by birds and small animals. Historically, the Cape Ash was used as a decorative street tree, offering good shade and some resistance to drought conditions.
๐—œ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜„: The Cape ash belongs to the Mahogany family. It is the host plant for the fastest flying butterfly in Africa, namely the White-barred Emperor butterfly. ๐˜Œ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ด was named after Carl Gustov Ekeberg, a Swedish shipโ€™s captain who worked for the Dutch East India Company.
“It is important that we recognise the role that trees play in our lives. Trees not only provide oxygen, fruit and nuts but also absorb carbon dioxide and beautify the environment and are an important link in the ecosystem. It is remarkable how a bland landscape can be immediately transformed into an inviting outdoor play area, and so many of us enjoy the beauty of leaves, shade and colour as seasons change. Learning how to preserve natureโ€™s gifts and care for the environment is something we can all contribute to and enjoy by planting more trees and being mindful that bark stripping and littering prevents them from flourishing,” said Mrs Danelle Botes, facilitator of Union High Schoolโ€™s Eco-Schoolsโ€™ efforts.
“๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜Œ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜บ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ง๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ, ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ.” – ๐—ช๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—น ๐—•๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐˜†



Eco Representatives Tessa James, Kaitlin Kenmuir and Erin Gedult with Union’s magnificent Cape Ash.

Good Luck Matrics!

Ms Jones wished all her CAT learners good luck for their exams with a little note and a sweet treat.

As our matrics start their trial exams with CAT Paper 1 (Practical) today, we’d like to wish them all the best for the next few weeks ahead.

We are exceptionally proud of our 2020 matrics and their relentless efforts these past few months.
May all your hard work pay off, Grade 12s. Keep making us proud!

RCL Care-Kit Drive

โ€œThe women in our community need to be reassured during these difficult times. We need to provide support and comfort to all those women in the Graaff-Reinet area who are struggling to let them know they are not alone.โ€

This is the belief of Laetitia Theron, a Grade 12 learner at Union who was inspired by the recent Womenโ€™s Month celebrations to reach out to the less fortunate in the community.

Laetitia, who serves as Deputy Headgirl and president of Union High Schoolโ€™s RCL, has commandeered her fellow RCL members to help her drive a CARE-kit collection aimed at providing women in need with small boxes containing basic necessities.

โ€œA small gift can be a powerful reminder for a woman that she has not been forgotten and that she remains a valued and respected member of her community,โ€ said Laetitia.

I want these boxes to be a source of comfort and hope for women in the midst of their battle. Our hope is that these boxes will brighten someoneโ€™s day, put a smile on the lips of a woman who is struggling or just provide a much-needed pick-me-up.โ€

The CARE-kits (which will be about the size of a shoebox) will consist of:

โ€ข Facecloth
โ€ข Bar of soap
โ€ข Feminine hygiene product
โ€ข Deodorant
โ€ข Lotion
โ€ข Toothbrush
โ€ข Toothpaste
โ€ข Chocolate

Each box will be accompanied by a small card, which will read: โ€œ๐˜ˆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ญ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ธ๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด, ๐˜ด๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฅ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ. ๐˜ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ.โ€

Unionโ€™s RCL kindly request that the community considers donating towards this drive. Donations can be big or small, an individual item or an entire CARE-kit.

If you are unable to purchase these items you are welcome to make a donation and the RCL will purchase items that are needed for the CARE-kits.

Donations can be dropped off at Union High School’s front gate in Donkin Street with Mrs Moos.

Those wishing to contribute, are asked to please do so before September 30th.

Those who would like to make a monetary donation, can EFT their contribution into the following bank account:

Account Name: UHS Clearing Account
Standard Bank
Account Number: 082528330
Branch Code: 050116

Please make sure to use โ€˜RCL – CAREโ€™ accompanied by your surname as a reference.

A Warm Welcome

Please join us in welcoming student teachers Caley Taylor and Bethia Feldon to the Union campus.
Bethia and Caley are currently earning hands-on experience under the guidance of our knowledgeable teachers here at Union High School while studying towards their Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree.
Caley is in her 4th Year of study at the University of the Free State, while Bethia is currently doing her 3rd Year through Unisa.
We hope their experiences at Union will be enjoyable and rewarding.

Goodbye, Ms Munnik!

Today, Monday, 31 August, the staff and learners of Union High School bid farewell to Ms Lindzey Munnik.

Ms Munnik, who taught Afrikaans FAL to Union’s Grade 8s, 9s and 10s, recently accepted a position at Narsingstraat Primary School.

Ms Munnik’s friendliness, enthusiasm for teaching and commitment to her learners’ well-being made her a wonderful addition to the school.

Everyone at Union will miss her dearly and wish her all the best for the journey ahead!

Matrics 2020 – Jerusalema Dance Challenge

Union High Schoolโ€™s Grade 12s recently participated in the trending Jerusalema Dance Challenge.
The aim of the challenge, which has taken SA by storm, is to spread much-needed positivity amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
โ€œAs young people in this difficult time, we are faced with many challenges, and the aim was to boost morale and get active in a fun way,โ€ said Union High Schoolโ€™s Headgirl, Sakhe Booi.
She explained that the dance challenge can take place even with participants observing social distancing and wearing masks.
โ€œThe aim was to remind our fellow learners that although we have to keep each other at a distance, we are closer than we have ever been as a school family,โ€ Sakhe said.
โ€œWe would like to challenge all businesses, institutions and schools in Graaff-Reinet to take up the Jerusalema Dance Challenge,โ€ said Sakhe.

Explaining ‘Close Contact”

Today, Friday, 17 July, Union High School will have successfully completed our 6th week of on-site education since the reopening of schools. To date, Union High School has, fortunately, not been directly impacted by a confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19). As the pandemic spreads, planning for the possibility of such a situation has, however, been a top priority and Union would like to take this opportunity to assure our community that in the event that this should happen, strict protocols will be followed, as per the guidelines provided to us by the Department of Education, to ensure the safety of the learners and educators.
Although the school has had no confirmed cases, we have noticed an increase in โ€˜close contactโ€™ cases within the local community, i.e. people who have been in close contact with individuals who have tested positive for the virus.
The school has protocols in place for โ€˜close contactโ€™ cases as well and parents are asked to please familiarise themselves with the following information to limit the risk to our school community:
What does being a โ€˜close contactโ€™ mean?
A โ€˜close contactโ€™ is defined as someone who has been in direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, but does not have any symptoms themselves.
โ€˜Close contactโ€™ means that you had face-to-face contact within 1 metre or were in a closed space for more than 15 minutes with a person with COVID-19. This contact happened while the person with COVID-19 was still โ€œinfectiousโ€, i.e. from 2 days before to 14 days after their symptoms began. You are not a โ€˜close contactโ€™ if youโ€™ve had contact with someone considered to be a โ€˜close contactโ€™, only if you yourself have been in contact with a person with COVID-19.

For example, you may be someone who:

1. Lives in the same household as a person with COVID-19.

2. Works closely in the same environment as a person with COVID-19.

3. Sat in the same classroom as a person with COVID-19.

4. Attended the same gathering as a person with COVID-19.

5. Provided direct care for a person with COVID-19 in a healthcare setting without using the proper personal protective equipment.

6. Sat within two seats (1 metre) in any direction of a person with COVID-19 case in any kind of vehicle including buses, minibus taxis, etc.

If a learner has been identified as being a โ€˜close contactโ€™ of a confirmed case of COVID-19, they are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days while being monitored for symptoms. They may not attend school. No tests are needed. Just 14 days of self-isolation from last contact if you do not show any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, youโ€™ll be required to start another 14-days of isolation from start of symptoms.

If you have been around someone who was identified as a โ€˜close contactโ€™ to a person with COVID-19, you should closely monitor yourself for any symptoms of COVID-19. You do not need to self-isolate. Parents must please notify the Headmaster immediately should their child be identified as a โ€˜close contactโ€™. The Headmaster can be contacted directly on either 049 891 0262 or

The learners will still be provided with at-home online-based educational support during their time of self-isolation to ensure continuity of education.

Parents are welcome to contact the school if they have any questions in this regard. In closing, we once again want to assure our parents of Unionโ€™s continued commitment to the well-being of our learners. We take every precautionary measure possible to ensure that our classrooms, venues and grounds are safe environments for our kids at all times.

Join G Suite

As most parents will be aware by now, Union High School has recently adopted G Suite for Education, to improve the technology we use for our online teaching support.
This is an exciting transition, as the tools available in G Suite, will make work-sharing easier, improve communication and also help teachers and learners to collaborate better.
All learners have been issued with e-mail addresses with which to access Union’s new Google classrooms.
To make the migration easier for learners and parents, we’ve put together this step-by-step instruction to help learners access the classrooms via a mobile device.
Please note:
1. Step-by-step instructions to access the classrooms via a computer has also been posted to our Facebook timeline.
2. These instructions were also sent out via the D6 Communicator and class WhatsApp groups.
3. Please contact Mr JP Kruger at 072 076 0352 should you need further assistance in this regard.

Thank You Teachers

Dear Mr Pringle and staff,

The current circumstances we live in are unknown to us all and they bringย a lot of uncertainties and new challenges with them.

For this reason, we would like to express our gratitude to you on behalf of all the learners at Union High School for all that you and your team have done so far for us on and off-campus as well as for the kind and supportive messages you have sent to us all.

Even though some of us are still at home, life on campus has continued as much as possible given the circumstances. We think that it has created an even bigger feeling of community-building. That one feelingย that the Union campus is known for.

We realise how much extra work it must have been for the academic staff to change the curriculum to an online format during lockdown and how much extra effort it is now, to have to do on-site teaching while offering online educational support.

To all organisational staff, we know that a big part of the schoolโ€™s success is your efforts with coordination and support. For that reason, we would like to thank you and everyone else who have been involved in the preparation and continuation of the academic programme and for getting the school ready to receive learners.

Finally, we hope that this crisis will somehow be resolved in the near future and that those who have returned home will be able to return to Union soon to finish the year all together. And that if anything, we will all be able to learn something from this crisis.

Thanks again for everything, and if there is anything that we can do to help, please let us know.

With kind regards and best wishes,


Sakhe Booi โ€“ Headgirl
Bowen Langmead – Headboy
Brett Amsterdam โ€“ Deputy Headboy
Laetitia Theron โ€“ Deputy Headgirl